Thursday, December 27, 2012

Gemstones of the Zodiac - Part 10 - Emerald

Gemstones of the Zodiac - Part 10 - Emerald

Welcome to Part 10 of our “Gemstones of the Zodiac” series.

The tenth sign of the Zodiac is Capricorn (December 21 - January 19).

The Mystical Zodiac stone for Capricorn is Emerald.


Emeralds are an ancient stone, whose history can be traced back 6000 years to 4000 BC, where it was sold in markets in Babylon.  Indian mythology believes that the word emerald came from the Sanskrit word “marakata”, meaning “the green of growing things”.  It is also believed to be derived from the Latin “smaragdus” meaning “green”.

Oddly, whereas diamonds are praised for their clarity, a clear emerald, without inclusions is not as prized.  Those stones are suspected to be synthetic or an imitation.  Emeralds will have inclusions due to calcite deposits within the stone.

Pliny The Elder, in about 50 AD, said of the emerald “Nothing greens greener.”

No less than Aristotle praised the emerald.  He believed it elevated the owner in importance and presence,  and helped people achieve victory.

Ancient Islamic  practitioners would engrave emerald amulets with verses from the Koran.

The stone was a favorite of Cleopatra.  Egyptians believed that, since green was the color of Spring, the stone was a symbol of fertility and rebirth.  Cleopatra actually had her own emerald mine.

Some Arthurian legends believe that the Holy Grail was carved from emeralds.

Shah Jahan, one of the builders of the Taj Mahal, carved sacred texts into them and used them as talismans.

Arguably, the most famous piece of emerald jewelry is the Crown of the Andes, which contains over 1,500 carats of emeralds, including the Atahualpa Emerald (at 45 carats).  

The Nadir Throne, in Iran, and the Pahlavi Crown, created for the coronation of Raza Shah in 1926, both contain many emeralds.  The Nadir Throne is believed to contain 1,500 - 2,000 carats of emeralds.

Emerald Properties

Emerald is called the “stone of successful love”, as it is thought to enhance love and other relationships (friendships).  Emeralds that change color are thought to do so due to unfaithfulness. It stimulates the heart chakra, therefore, it is a good stone to use for healing the heart (from heart aches). 

On a more metaphysical level, it is believed to aid in clairvoyance and mental capacity, helping to bring the unknown into consciousness.  As a result, many use it when faced with a difficult decision, because it can help you focus on all aspects, since it helps bring things into consciousness.   This makes it a good stone to use for meditation.

Emeralds can also eliminate negativity and help you enjoy your life to the fullest. 

Cleanse and Purify Your Stones

For information on how to cleanse your stones, refer to this article published recently on Mind Body Spirit Odyssey.

You can read Giani's Tarot reviews in the Review section of this blog.
This is the ninth article in this wonderful series, and I am definitely looking forward to reading more
 in the upcoming months!  I thank Giani
 for his wonderful continued contributions to Mind Body Spirit Odyssey. 

The beautiful jewelry pictured above can be found in Giani's website and on CraftStar.
 ~ diane

Series Article Part 1 - Opals 
Series Article Part 2 - Sapphire
Series Article 3 - Amethyst
Series Article 4 - Moonstone
Series Article 5 - Diamonds 
Series Article 6 - Agate 
Series Article 7 - Jasper
Series Article 8 - Pearl
Series Article 9 - Onyx

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Thursday, December 20, 2012

Glad Tidings For The Winter Solstice

I'd like to thank Celestial Elf for sharing this wonderful article about the Midwinter Solstice with us.  You can read more about Celestial Elf and his amazing machinima film work in the
 Artist Interview we conducted with him earlier this year.
  The Mind Body Spirit Odyssey wishes all of our readers a happy Holiday Season and a
 wonderful New Year!

In Ancient Northern Europe the mid-winter Solstice (between 20th/23rd of December) was called 'Earth Mother's Night', and as the shortest day of the year it effectively represents the turning point of the season.


The Romans called this Sostice the Dies Natalis Invicti Solis, the Birthday of the Unconquered Sun. The Roman midwinter festival of Saturnalia (17-25 December) celebrated Saturnus (god of fertility, harvest and time) and his wife Ops (Mother Earth). Whilst Temples and homes were decorated with stars and suns and evergreens symbolizing life's continuity, Processions of people with masked or blackened faces symbolizing the dark of winter danced through the streets, which has survived in the custom of 'Mummer's Plays'. Masters also feasted with their slaves and a 'King' was appointed from their number to take charge of the revels giving rise to the 'Lord of Misrule' of medieval Christmas festivities, which tradition survived into the 17th Century."

In Northern Europe the winter festival was called the Yule (Juul).
As the people thought the Sun stood still for twelve days in the midwinter, plunging Mother Earth and all her growing things into the dark, coldness of death, It was thought that spring could not come without their celebration of midwinter.

During this time the Druids began the tradition of burning the Yule Log to conquer the darkness and to evoke the return of the Sun for the new year, the Suns divine male energy was needed to return and quicken the Earths sacred female energy for the Rebirth of spring.

A Yule Tree was also illuminated with candles, to further this effort to attract the Sun.
Therefore 'Yule' is the midwinter festival of light, as the length of daylight progressively increases after the winter solstice.

Along with the Evergreen, the Holly and the Ivy and the Mistletoe are important plants of this season, symbolizing fertility & everlasting life.  Mistletoe, also known as The Golden Bough (and called Allheal, used in folk medicine to cure many ills) was held sacred by the Druids and Norse people, who cut it with a golden sickle (symbolic of the Sun) on the sixth night of the moon.
Both Druids and Romans hung sprigs of mistletoe in their homes and places of celebration to bring good fortune and peace & the Scandinavians would halt and call Truce in battle if they came across mistletoe in their Forests.

In addition, its fertility endowing powers have by tradition created its modern role as a symbol of love (a man should pick a berry when he kisses a woman beneath the mistletoe, when the last berry is gone there should be no more kissing!).

The myth of the Holly King/Oak King probably originated from the Druids to whom these two trees were highly sacred. The Oak King (Lord of the Waxing Year and identified with the 'wren' symbolizing the Old Year and Shortened Sun) kills the Holly King (Lord of the Waning Year, son and successor of the Oak King, identified with the 'robin redbreast' symbolizing the New Year and New Sun that begins to grow) at Yule (Winter Solstice). 

The Oak King then reigns until Litha (Summer Solstice) when the two fight again and the Holly King is victorious. The Holly King is still seen in some representations of the modern Santa Claus."

Of the Wren itself  (
which was also called 'magus avium' - the magic or druid bird) this hapless bird was for many years hunted and killed on December 26 by young boys because it was recognized as a sacred bird to the early Druids.  It was targeted by Christian believers as their Pagan purges were frequent and relentless. The boys would receive money as they paraded their dead trophies from house to house...

The Nordic Yule began in the evening of winter solstice 20th-23rd December, with the sacrifice of a wild pig (boar) to Mother Earth. This gave strength to Mother Earth (Freja), so that she could give birth to her Son (Balder) on 24th of December who represented both the next generation and most importantly, light ie the New Sun (which was also echoed in the Rebirth of the Persian Sun God Mithrais {as well as the Greek Apollo} on 25th December, a significant date later co-opted by the Christian Church...)

The ham as the Yule dish is particularly significant because in ancient times the pig was considered a holy animal and personification of Mother Earth, symbolizing her fertility. Thus the Yule ham is Mother Earth herself.

Regarding such Sacrifices in these Ancient traditions;
As they held that Divinity was inherent in all creatures as an expression of the God's powers within nature, so the most powerful of these rituals was when a God was sacrificed to share their divine energy.
Those who ate of such sacrificial feasts received a part of the Deities divine power,
just as the death of one creature gives life to others.

For the ancient people such traditions were completely normal as they 'sacrificed' the seed in spring to earth, where it ‘died’, and later rose again to give life to many new seeds which in turn would both feed many people and beget many more new seeds. These principles are similar in theme to the Christian atonement sacrifice of Christ, the ritual of Eucharist and the Ascension.

Be that as it may, I share with you now Bright Yule Blessings:

Yule Blessings.

Blessings to you from the Earth Mother.
She is the Moon.
She watches over all of us by.
The light that she casts over the blessed earth.
Walk her night lit path
And happiness you will find at every turn.
Blessed be!

Blessings to you from the Sky Father.
He is the Sun. He holds us up
And brings us strength. Carry his sword
To cleave the evil from your path
And you will be unmolested.
Blessed Be!

Blessings to you from the Great Spirit.
It binds us all together:
Man to womyn; beast to beast; all.
We are it and it is us.
Blessed Be!

May you have a wonderful Holiday.
The time has come for the sun to be reborn
He lies in his Mother's womb waiting...
Awaiting his reappearance on this plane.
Let us all rejoice in his rebirth and ours.
Blessed Be!
(by yusef)
Merry Solstice, Happy Yule...

 After writing this post, a bit later I rewrote the famous poem The Night before Christmas and made the machinima film 
The Night Before Christmas Or Yuletide or Such....
to reinstate Odin and the ancient Norse traditions in place of Father Christmas per se..
which you can read by following the link above, or just enjoy the film below 

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Thursday, December 13, 2012

Mind Body Spirit Artist Series - Sue O'Kieffe

The beautiful artwork of Digital Artist Sue O'Kieffe has inspired and aided in the healing efforts of many who admire her work.  Her ongoing passion in working with the Mandala form and also in the healing properties associated with Auralite crystals definitely piqued my interest - prompting me to  find out more about this wonderful artist and her spiritual and artistic world.  Enjoy!
                                                                                                        ~ diane fergurson

Transcendent Harmony
MBS:  Can you tell us a little about yourself?  How did you get started in art?

SueI have been creative all my life. I'm sure I came into this lifetime having been creative in many others. And I bet I will be creative in future space-time continuums as well. I expressed to my mother around the age of five that I wanted be an artist when I grew up, and my creativity was encouraged to a certain extent, but there was an underlying message also of not being good enough. Having talked to other creatives, I know that this has been a common theme for many.

My journey as an artist has seen me embracing many different media -- starting with embroidery, knitting and crocheting. In my 30's I was captivated by beadwork and beaded embroidery, jewelry making, and bead making with polymer clay.  All of these media had similar things in common. They were all tactile, they all involved working with pattern, and they all involved working with wonderful colors. In my late 30's and into my 40's I began learning more about the healing power of colors and incorporated that knowledge into my art as well. Somewhere along the way, working with teeny tiny beads began to take its toll on my eyes and my body and I began looking for new ways to express myself.

In the mid 90's I became involved with a group of women interested in the medium of collage. We met twice a month with the intent of making collage as process rather than product in a safe non judgmental environment. It was what I would see now as my first experience of creating art within the confines of sacred space and the Divine Feminine. These bi-monthly meetings were magical to me. I loved the respect and safety of the group. We met for four years and eventually even had a couple of group shows. One of the women in the group had a computer and an early version of Photoshop. I went to her house to play one Saturday afternoon, and the moment I put my hands on the keyboard, I knew that creating digital art would be where I would go next. It took me a while to get there, though. In 2005, I went back to school to learn digital media and all things Adobe. I took a couple of classes in Photoshop from an art instructor who encouraged process and learning over perfection and product. By the time the classes were over I was finally calling myself an artist. I was 55. 

MBS:  I've talked to so many women artists over the years who have come into their creative life in their 40's or 50's - I've also heard many reasons why.  What finally clicked for you once you become older?

Sue:  Wow, that's a great question, Diane!

The first thing that came to mind was Anais Nin's quote :And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.
At this point in my life both of my parents had passed. I didn't need to be concerned with taking care of them any longer. I had no children to finish raising either. I only had me to finish raising! I think the journey of menopause was also an ingredient. I remember reading in Christiane Northrup's book The Wisdom of Menopause that this is the time when women either heal the wounding of their past and move on to who they want to be or they run the risk of many health issues later in life stemming from these unhealed places. I just felt driven to create like I'd never felt before. I was on fire!  And I felt a creative freedom I'd never experienced before either. I loved working digitally. It was magic. Everything was lining up. I was coming home.

Soul Harmony

MBS:  What is it that you find so satisfying and engaging about making art digitally?

Sue: The only way I know how to answer this question is that creating digitally is what I love. I go with what fascinates and with what I find compelling. Who knows why this is? I just know that when I sit down at the computer that I feel a oneness that I don't feel with other approaches. And I especially feel that oneness, as well as a lot of magic, when creating mandalas digitally. I'm entranced!

MBS:  A lot of your work revolves around the creation of Mandalas.  How did your interest in the Mandala form come about?

Sue As a little girl I loved rubbing my eyes and enjoying the colors and patterns created behind my closed eyelids. My earliest memory of what might be an introduction to mandala making was playing with a Spirograph that my mother had saved from her own childhood!  Fast forward another 15 years or so to discovering a mandala coloring book and coloring the designs, which I loved. But my first real experience with mandala making occurred around 1997. I participated in a workshop led by a woman who had been trained by Judith Cornell. Cornell created a lovely and very powerful approach to mandala creation based on the concept of drawing with light by laying down layers and layers of white prismacolor pencil on black paper before adding subsequent layers of color. That weekend was powerful and transformative and one of my first conscious experiences of connecting with the Divine through art making. I loved creating within the container of the circle.

When I purchased my first computer a couple of years later, I spent lots of time searching online for and being inspired by mandalas created in the digital realm. I discovered Komra Moriko's work on and knew deep inside that I would create mandalas based on the beauty of nature. She was so generous to provide a step by step tutorial on her website. During the summer of 2005 I immersed myself in this learning process and haven't stopped. Being out in nature and filling my eyes with her beauty, capturing it all on my camera, and then bringing her gifts home and transforming it all in photoshop is a deeply nourishing and fulfilling process. I know that I came into this lifetime to be part of some amazing planetary changes and to create mandala art to assist humanity with these changes. 

Fierce Transformation Mandala

MBS:  Your work is very spiritually oriented.  How does spirituality play a role in your artwork and for you as an artist?

Sue: As far back as I can remember I have felt connected to Spirit. Sometimes I forgot. Often fear would get in my way. I have always been a seeker.  There have been pivotal moments in my life when I clearly came in touch with the Divine, far too many to  talk about here. I have always listened to the promptings of my soul and followed them, even when I didn't realize that's what I was doing. Spirituality has always been  entwined with my art so I  really can't imagine creating any other way.

Currently, a big part of my journey is developing a deeper co-creative relationship with my inner guidance in my art making. In meditation I've been asking what most wants to come through at that moment, wait for imagery and listen for the words Spirit shares. And then I interpret what I see and hear in mandala form. I am learning that this listening takes a bit of patience, as well as faith. My ego natters at me about making it all up. But I love creating art in this way, taking a step away from  the limitations of my creative mind and allowing Spirit to guide me and speak through me. I look forward to creating these intuitive mandalas for others as well, using the same process, as a testament to the receiver's spirit. 

MBS:  I've noticed recently that some of your work has been based off of Auralite Crystals.  What is an Auralite Crystal, it's properties...and how did you become introduced to them?

Sue: Auralite is conservatively estimated to be a 1.1 billion year old crystal found only in a remote region of Ontario, Canada. It is comprised of amethyst, clear, smoky, and citrine quartz, along with more than 23 other mineral inclusions (including gold, silver, platinum and copper) and 35 elements that have all been confirmed by geological assay. I first learned about this crystal in 2006, before it was even being called Auralite. I had just been diagnosed with a non malignant tumor that was wrapping itself around my carotid artery. Through the magic of the internet (and Spirit), I had serendipitously connected with the man who is now the mine's project geologist. He wanted to talk about this crystal and I was very happy to listen. The photographs of the Auralite he shared reactivated my childhood attractions to the mineral kingdom. The energies from the crystals helped assist me during this somewhat challenging time. This was the beginning of my spiritual awakening.

Fast forward to early 2011. My geologist friend and I reconnected on Facebook. He asked if I wanted to help sell Auralite, and I said yes. Over the past year I have come to understand that being an Auralite advocate and caretaker is also part of my life calling. Because this is a new crystal to humanity, those who are connected to Auralite are the ones discovering its properties. I ask people to share their experiences with me. It's fascinating to hear these Auralite stories. My belief is that Auralite is coming to the surface now to assist humanity during these challenging shifts in energy as we move into higher states of consciousness by clearing out lower energy levels that no longer serve us. My personal experience with Auralite is one of amazing unconditional Love. It creates a magnetic bond with those it connects with. I've seen people not able to put it down. And I've experienced tsunami waves of Love wash over me from this crystal.

Timeless Light and Peace

I like what my friend. crystal healer Adrienne Goff has discovered about about Auralite as well: 

I am such a fan of Auralite, because I have seen what it can do. It forms a very personal connection with the client and immediately targets what parts are out of alignment, working to clear blockages. I have seen it cause emotional release, instant activation and clearing of the chakras in less than five minutes, sudden insights, activation of the client's blueprint, and the ability to clearly tune into spirit. It is very good at treating emotional and mental ascension symptoms as it unwinds areas of constriction, bringing relief of stress, anxiety, tension, anger, and other lower emotional states. Auralite naturally awakens the third eye, helping both you and the client tune in and achieve a higher meditative state. It also strongly resonates with St. Germaine and the Violet Flame energies. Therefore, it is perfect for transmuting any lower energy into pure light. If you could only have one crystal in your healing tool box, Auralite should be it!

I began creating mandalas from photographs of Auralite not only as a way to honor the crystal, but also as a way to share the crystal's unique energies in mandala form.

Markings of Time (Auralite Mandala)

MBS:  What is a typical work day like for you?
Sue: Like many artists, I also have a part time day job. I approach that with the intent of being an embodiment of Light and Love. Really, we can all spread joy and light wherever we go. This isn't about being Pollyanna. This is about being present and available to the best of my ability and engaging with people with consideration and respect. This is how I do my art when I am not "doing my art."

There really isn't a "typical" work day for my art. I do what most needs to be done, whether it is creating new art,  being in nature with my camera, working on a commission, or maybe even trying out a new recipe. Staying properly nourished for my body's optimum health is important to me these days.I have recently decided to return to a vegetarian diet.

When I am focused on making art, I block out a period of time to do just that. I meditate for a period of time to see what most wants to come forth, and then I sit at my computer and listen to my guidance. I shared a bit about  my process on this blog post recently. And then, of course, there is time reserved for Facebook.
MBS:  What are you currently working on?
Sue: My immediate focus is preparing for an art opening on January 5 at Humboldt Herbals in Eureka, CA for our community's monthly Arts Alive.  I've also been invited to show one or two of my mandalas at an international art show of mandala makers in September 2013 at Nails in the Wall Gallery in Metuchen NJ. In between this, I am planning on writing an article for a local metaphyiscal newsletter about my True Self Mandala process
True Self Mandala
MBS: What are your True Self Mandalas?

Sue: Over the past couple of years I have been developing a process for creating portraits of the True Self in mandala form.In 2009, when I wanted assistance in creating commissioned mandalas,  I sought out the counsel of a local shamanic practitioner, who journeyed with her allies and came back with the suggestion to connect with the True Self, ask specific questions, and then interpret the information received in mandala form. My first assignment was to create my own True Self Mandala, which took me, for various reasons, about a year to create. How could I create for another without knowledge of my own True Self? Since then I have had the  honor of connecting four other women with their True Selves and creating their individual True Self Mandala using this very soulful process. It is a powerful and healing process for the receiver as well as for myself, and such a lovely way to honor your spiritual journey in a very intimate way.
MBS:  I see that you sell your work on-line.  What has your on-line experience been like?
Sue: The  first week after I opened my  Etsy shop in 2009, someone placed an order for six of my mandalas. It was a great, encouraging way to get started. Overall, though, online sales have been fairly sporadic. In 2013, I want to look at other venues besides Etsy as well as finally put up my website.

MBS:  What advice do you have for anyone who wishes to (seriously) pursue an artistic path?
Sue: Ask yourself what you want to be doing in the next five years. Look for business support within your community. I have been happy  with the local Small Business Development Center, which has provided me with a business coach and many  classes about different facets of business, all at no cost. Find someone whose wisdom you respect to assist with art marketing practices. Talk to lots of other artists, whether it is in online groups or in your local community, for advice and support. Get your art out there. Be willing to be transparent and share yourself with people. Be patient. Be grateful for those around you and tell them that on a regular basis.Love and appreciate what you do. No one else does what you do. The world needs you.

I like this quote from Earl Nightingale :
Never give up on a dream just because of the time it will take to accomplish it. The time will pass anyway.

Thank you Sue!

Contact information for Sue -
Email contact:

Facebook Profile Page:

Sacred Circle Mandalas


Links to other interviews in the Mind Body Spirit Artist Series.

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Sunday, December 2, 2012

Mind Body Spirit Odyssey 2012 Holiday Gift Picks

The Holiday Season has arrived, and once again Abby Horowitz and I have put together some of our favorite Mind Body Spirit related items that we have found online this year.  Some of these products may be familiar to you because they were previously featured on the Mind Body Spirit Marketplace Facebook Page, which is updated with new items everyday.  Others are personal favorites.  Some of the products are handcrafted and available from independent shop owners, others are traditionally manufactured and sold through online retail sites.

For additional gift ideas I recommend that you revisit our 2011 Holiday Gift Pick List, and even go back and look at our 2010  selections.

A lot to look at and enjoy.  I'm sure you'll find something for everyone on your list - and even for yourself!

I hope your Holiday Season is a healthy and happy one.  Stay positive and thank you for following our Facebook Page and supporting our blog.  Oh, and don't forget to tell your friends about us -  spread the word!

                                                                                          ~ diane fergurson

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

 Gift Ideas From Diane

Lotus Candle Holder and Candle from Dharma Crafts

This stunning Lotus Candle Holder and candle is from the wonderful catalog and website Dharma Crafts Meditation Supplies.  The site features a large selection of mediation related items and also beautiful handcrafted jewelry.  The candle holder and lotus candle pictured above are sold separately.  Great site!

The Winter Solstice
The Sacred Traditions of Christmas
John Matthews with contributions from Caitlin Matthews
Quest Books

If you, or if you know of someone on your Holiday list, that is interested in the history of different cultural traditions, then this book is really a must.  The Winter Solstice is not a new publication.  In fact I stumbled across my copy in a used book store during my travels this summer.  But it was so well written and beautifully illustrated, it gives the reader a wonderful sense of the history and an understanding of the cultural traditions from many belief systems.  Available on Amazon, new and used.

 Moosup Valley Designs

moosupvalleydesigns creates jewelry, wall plaques and giclee prints that are created from the designs of their one of a kind scrimshaw pieces.  All is Connected pictured above, is a beautiful pin which can be purchased in their beautiful Etsy shop.


If you are a Pug lover or a Cat lover, you are going to fall head over heels for Tyber Katz's wonderful
little Zen sculptures.  They come in a variety of styles and sizes, and really can't help but brighten your day every time you look at them!  Available in their shop on Etsy.


When we featured this stunning Bee Mandala Screen Print Shirt earlier this year as our daily Marketplace feature on our Facebook Page, it was one of the most popular items to be viewed this year.  The Bee Mandala was made to help bring awareness to the devastation of Colony Collapse Disorder and to lend support to the North American Pollinator Protection Campaign.  10% of the proceeds from the sale of each shirt is donated to the NAPCC.  This shirt, and many other wonderful mandalas and spirit animal related items by artist Adam Stare are available in his shop astrolaboratory on Etsy.

Jesus, Buddha, Krishna & Lao Tzu
The Parallel Sayings
by Richard Hooper
Hampton Roads Publishing

Reprinted in May of this year, Jesus, Buddha, Krishna & Lao Tzu, The Parallel Sayings is a fascinating little book which organizes and reveals the common spiritual threads and sayings found within the world's major religious traditions.  Organized under topics such as "Suffering" and "Love and Compassion", the quotes of each spiritual leader are presented side by side in columns.  A great gift idea for anyone who is interested in religion, spirituality, philosophy, history or inspiration.  I purchased a copy of this book and have thoroughly enjoyed reading it and thinking about the wise words it contains.
Available from Amazon.


DeShawnMarie creates a wonderful line of handmade soap that is vegan friendly, cold process, glycerine and organic.  Pictured above is her fabulous Rose Lilac Soap.  For even more selections visit her Etsy Shop or her Website - and don't forget to check out those great gift sets she has available too!

Loving Kindness Blessing from Karen Casey-Smith

When we posted Karen Casey-Smith's Loving Kindness Blessing on our blog, the response to this stunning print and the blessing it contains was enormous.  One of the most beautiful sentiments I've come across in quite awhile.  A beautiful print, and a wonderfully positive gift to give someone on your Holiday list (or to have yourself).  Available in Karen's stunning shop of photography on Etsy.

Veggieyana:  The Dharma of Cooking
by Sandra Garson
Wisdom Publications

Probably one of my favorite cookbooks I've come across this year, Veggieyana is a wonderful collection of recipes of wholesome food from around the world. The recipes are vegetarian, but even non-vegetarians will enjoy the variety of dishes in this book.  Simple ingredients, easy, healthy and delicious.  Can't beat that!  Available on Amazon.

The Raven from Baba Studios Prague

Every season Baba Studios in Prague seem to come out with a new bag or two that just shines above all others.  This year it has to be The Raven...and it's just stunning.  Available in their shop on Etsy.  Note - it may take several weeks after you order for your bag to be made.

Original Artwork, Prints and Jewelry by 
Diane Fergurson can be found in her shops on Etsy 
and ArtFire. 

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Gift Ideas from Abby

Ganapati Studios

I came across a collection of the most wonderful cards from Ganapati Studios at the Rubin Museum
recently.  I bought several of the 5x7 cards and framed them!  They have an online shop where you will find greeting cards, pendants, art prints, journals tote bags, booklets and magnets.  Their wonderful collages will delight your eyes and heart, and will make a great gift!

Tiger House Art

Tiger House Art on Etsy has a wondrous selection of Asian, Celtic, Egyptian Art and Historic Designs.  The prints are sure to make terrific gifts.  Stop by this shop for a journey through space and time.

Soap For Your Soul

Soap For Your Soul makes vegan soap in small batches, using the finest extra virgin olive oil, natural colorants, and over 12 years of soap making experience.  I love the textures, colors and scents.  This husband and wife team create wonderful products sure to make great gifts. 

Robin Wade

I love Robin Wade's magical work.  She focuses on angels, fairies, and strong goddess like figures as they symbolize hope and strength.  Check out her shop on Etsy and you find yourself in an original, whimsical and soulful world.

Peace Blossom Candles

This year I'm going to order this really cool Ganesh candle for stocking suffers.  Peace Blossom Candles are made by Angelika who married into a beekeeping family and uses their pure beeswax to create these beautiful candles.

Solstice Stones

Solstice Stones has a wonderful collection of crystals, minerals and jewelry.  These Moldavite pendants are awesome and are sure to make someone very happy on Christmas day!  Moldavite is born of interplanetary collisions and has an intense frequency which is sought after for it's ability to accelerate our personal and spiritual evolution.  Available in their shop on Etsy.


Mystarrs on Etsy is a shop filled with one of a kind Stained Glass Art Jewelry and keepsakes.  These Tarot Card Necklaces are wonderful!  Stop by Mystarrs' shop to see this artist's very special work!

South Industry
South Industry creates wonderful wallets and bags from vintage Molas.
The vibrant colors and designs are sure to delight that special
someone on your gift list!  Available in their shop on Etsy.
Innovative Stone Art
I recently discovered this Etsy shop and I am enamored with this
talented gentleman’s work.  He creates beautiful stone art sculptures,
garden art, and cast stone wall plaques. From Celtic stone art to
zodiac wall plaques, you’ll find an array of terrific gifts at very
affordable prices!

Sweet Vegan Delight
Sweet Vegan Delight on Etsy has the perfect gifts for your favorite Vegan baker!
This assortment features Ginger Gems, Shortbread, and Snickerdoodle cookie
mixes along with instructions.  Yum!  They also make a luscious assortment of
cookies baked to order! Enjoy!

Thank you Abby!
Jewelry by Abby Horowitz can be found in her shop on Etsy.
 Follow the daily updates of the Mind Body Spirit Marketplace on Facebook.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Gemstones of the Zodiac - Part 9 - Onyx

Welcome to Part 9 of our “Gemstones of the Zodiac” series.
The ninth sign of the Zodiac is Sagittarius (November 22 - December 20).  The Mystical Zodiac stone for Sagittarius is Onyx.


Onyx is a Greek word that means the nail from a finger (or claw).  According to legend, Cupid cut the fingernail of Venus while she was sleeping on the banks of the Indus River, and they fell into the water.  Because no part of a God or Goddess can every really die, these fingernails settled on the bottom of the river, and were turned to stone, thus giving birth to onyx.

Onyx is from the microcrystalline quartz family knows as chalcedony.  Chalcedony gets its name from Calcedon, a port town on the Marmara Sea in Asia, where the stone was first discovered.  These days, onyx is mined not only in India, but in Brazil, Uruguay and California.

While most people associate onyx with being black, there are multiple colors of onyx, including white, red and green.

Onyx Properties

Black Onyx

Black onyx, due to its ability to absorb light, is looked at as one of the more powerful protection stones.  It is a root chakra stone, which helps keep you grounded and focused.  Onyx has a strong association with Saturn, so those with Saturn in your birth charts (Capricorns especially, but not solely) might want to look to onyx for protection. 

Based on the myth of Cupid and Venus, onyx is believed to add to the belief of the life cycle, in that death is not looked at as final, but merely party of a cycle of continuing life.  This is why mediums look to black onyx to help connect to the spiritual realm.

On the more physical plane, black onyx is looked at to help increase strength, stamina, energy and self control.  It is also thought to lessen tensions, worries, and can help quell confusion and bad dreams.

White Onyx

White onyx balances the system by tying the root chakra to the crown chakra.  So, while the root chakra will keep you grounded,  the crown chakra ties you to the heavenly.  This further enforces the concept of the continual life cycle, and how death is not a finality, but a phase.  Think of it as a continual sense of renewal, a continual balancing of your energies.

Red Onyx

Like black onyx, red onyx is also tied to the root chakra, and is a grounding stone.

Green Onyx

Green onyx is for the heart chakra, which is about connection, transformation, and powerful healing.  It is the center of the conscious and spiritual. It helps bridge the three chakra above it with the three below it.

Combining Onyx With Other Stones

Since onyx is not only a protection stone, but also a grounding stone, it is a great stone to combine with other stones, depending on what you want to achieve.

Tiger eye is also from the chalcedony family, which, like onyx, works for people with Saturn in their birth chart (including, but not limited to, Capricorns).  The combination should help you not only stay grounded, but draw that energy further up your chakras, and give you strength to channel that groundedness into power.  As a Capricorn myself, onyx and tiger eye has always been my favorite combination, and I use it together often in pieces such as these:

Onyx and Tiger Eye
That piece above is one of my personal talismans.

For those seeking a more feminine approach:

Onyx and Tiger Eye Flower Necklace

 As you may remember from our story on agate, like onyx, is good for balance and strength.  You can channel them together in a piece such as this:

Onyx and Agate Necklace

 Cleanse and Purify Your Stones

For information on how to cleanse your stones, see this wonderful article published recently on Mind Body Spirit Odyssey.

You can read Giani's Tarot reviews in the Review section of this blog.
This is the ninth article in this wonderful series, and I am definitely looking forward to reading more
 in the upcoming months!  I thank Giani
 for his wonderful continued contributions to Mind Body Spirit Odyssey. 

The beautiful jewelry pictured above can be found in Giani's website and on CraftStar.
 ~ diane

Series Article Part 1 - Opals 
Series Article Part 2 - Sapphire
Series Article 3 - Amethyst
Series Article 4 - Moonstone
Series Article 5 - Diamonds 
Series Article 6 - Agate 
Series Article 7 - Jasper
Series Article 8 - Pearl
Series Article 10 - Emerald

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